Four Big Ten players on Wooden Award midseason top 25

Four Big Ten players on Wooden Award midseason top 25
January 22, 2014, 2:30 pm
Share This Post
Vinnie Duber

Michigan State is the highest-ranked Big Ten team, currently sitting at No. 3 in the country, with sights set on putting a few trophies in the trophy case in East Lansing.

Well, a couple Spartans have a shot at taking home college basketball's top individual piece of hardware, the John R. Wooden Award.

Keith Appling and Adreian Payne were both named to the Wooden Award's midseason top 25 on Wednesday, two of four Big Ten players on the list. The two seniors are the leading forces for the one-loss Spartans, one of two teams in the Big Ten with an unblemished conference record. Payne ranks second on the team in both scoring (16.2 points per game) and rebounding (7.7 rebounds per game), while Appling is the team's leading assists man (4.6 assists per game), also averaging 15.6 points per game. Both rank in the top 11 in the league in scoring.

[MORE: Amid four-game skid, is it time for Buckeyes to panic?]

Also named to the midseason top 25 were Ohio State guard Aaron Craft and Wisconsin forward Sam Dekker.

Craft has wowed observers all season long with his defensive prowess. He leads the conference with 45 steals (2.4 per game) and ranks second in assists with 4.9 per game.

Dekker, meanwhile, leads the ninth-ranked Badgers with 13.8 points per game.

Noticeably absent from the midseason top 25 was Michigan State guard Gary Harris, the Big Ten preseason player of the year and current scoring leader, with 18.3 points per game. Michigan guard Nik Stauskas, Iowa guard Roy Devyn Marble and Indiana guard Yogi Ferrell could also be considered surprising omissions.